Manila

Manila, Philippines: Playing tourist in my own city

My office is located in the “walled city” of Intramuros—the oldest district in Manila. I come here at least once a week, but I rarely venture out of the Bulletin area.

I finally did again when I took my cousin, who was visiting from the states, around Manila.

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We decided to join Carlos Celdran’s theatrical Walk This Way tour, and while it wasn’t my first time taking the tour, I still found it quite enjoyable. The last one I did started in front of the Manila Cathedral and was spent mostly walking along the walls of Intramuros, but this one started in Fort Santiago, which I have never been to. And as I am always on the lookout for “space-out spots” around the city, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Fort Santiago fits the bill. :P

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For all the controversy surrounding Celdran since he pulled his ‘Damaso’ stunt, his tour is still among the best there is. It’s gaining popularity, too, because the one we joined last weekend had 120 people participating—his biggest to date. It’s a fun way to learn about Manila’s interesting past, and I highly recommend it not only to foreign and domestic travelers and balikbayans, but to Filipinos who need a refresher course on Philippines history.

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My only tip: Keep an open mind and don’t forget to bring your sense of humor with you :P

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